Somalia: EU to Host Puntland as an Independent Entity at the Brussels Conference

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By: Yusuf M HasanEU Puntland Meeting in Garowe

GAROWE (Somalilandsun) – The Greater Somalia ambitions of the Mogadishu government are to receive a big setback at the forthcoming conference on Somalia hosted by the European Union-EU at its headquarters in Brussels.

This new development follows agreements between a high powered 10-member EU delegation and the Puntland administration in Garowe where it was agreed that the Somalia regional administration shall be hosted at the September Conference as an independent entity separate from the Somalia Federal Government team.

According to the very pleased president of Puntland Abdirahman Farole his administration’s its Second Five-Year Development Plan that shall be submitted at the Brussels conference for inclusion in New Deal for reconstruction and development of Somalia.

The Development Plan for Puntland whose main priority is security includes Five Priority Sectors and Eight Cross-Cutting Issues, including HIV/AIDS and the effects of Khat drug.

On the issue on independent participation Garowe online reported president Farole to have said “Puntland is ready to attend the conference with its own name and status. Media reports said [Somali] President Hassan Sheikh [Mohamud] said the Federal Government, Puntland, and Somaliland will attend the conference. But Puntland can only attend when its weight is recognized.”

Thanking the Puntland administration for receiving the EU delegation in Garowe Mr Nick Westcott, the EU Managing Director for Africa said that fruitful discussions were conducted especially as pertains to the state of European Union partnership with Puntland on the development programs that are underway.

“We are pleased with the progress that has been made and the scale of those programs,” said Mr Westcott.

The Ten memebers EU team that had prior Puntland had been in Somaliland and Somalia for similar discussions various stakeholders is composed of Mr Nick Westcott, EU Managing Director for Africa, Mr Marcus Cornaro, Deputy Director for Development Cooperation of the European Commission, Amb. Michele Cervone, the EU’s Special Envoy to Somalia, and Amb. Etienne de Poncins, Head of Mission for EUCAP Nestor maritime security initiative

With continued cries for somaliland not to be hosted at international foras as a sovereign entity from the Somalia Federal government the acquiescence of the EU to host Puntland (which has given notice that it shall not participate if otherwise) as an independent entity is major blow and a big, tall and broad nail to the coffin of Unionism.

On the other hand yet to be verified reports indicate that the new administration of Jubaland shall also not attend if it flag does not fly independent of the SFG’s.

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